I was inspired by coffee and not wanting to do the work I was supposed to be doing to go on a rant on Facebook about artists handling their business. I used very well known Black female vocalists to explain that "The Industry" is not a bad thing. However, lack of knowledge always is in a business setting. Music is business unless it's not. If it's not, then no worries. Keep playing for your friends. However, when money begins to get involved, know your shit so you don't end up like....
(1) One of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands. Unpretty by TLC. Yeah...they got screwed, but they made good songs too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2gy1Evb1Kg
(1b) "So what of Left Eye?" you may be askin. I don't know. But I heard that she was done with that TLC shit round about Crazy Sexy Cool cuz she wasn't feelin' the stupid direction the band was headed in talking about cheatin' on they man to get back at him...that was never her m.o. She was a thug. So she went rogue. Shortly thereafter, she died...or did she? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl-gEopCI4U
(2) The video that let Toya know she wasn't in the group anymore. This ain't unique. In fact, it's happened to me a few times. Only 2 bands I've ever worked with had the balls to call me and say "you're out".
Some people just ain't a fit for your project. That's fine. However, it's in good taste to let them know before they see it with their voice and another girl in the video. lol. https://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=GTT5LWggAu4
(3) Time always tells the truth. Though there were a lot of young girls (and guys) who got screwed by the industry, there were some who had advocates, read the fine print, and directed their own careers. Brandy is one of them. She handled her business and she still has business to handle. Don't vilify the "industry". The person who wins in the meeting is the one with the most information. Your ignorance is not the other party's fault. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBmkCoiHC2c
(4) Peep the before and after. If before the hit, they were cute and modestly dressed and after the hit, they were naked on Maxim, it's pimp game. Don't be confused. However, if they was naked on Maxim before the hit and naked on Playboy after the hit, then business was handled right before your eyes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIFEadUrt7o
(5) Fastforward to the powerhouse Janelle Monae. She approached Puffy for help. He said "Nah, you ain't ho enough." Then, she founded her own freaky production collective, Wondaland. Puffy saw that she was doing it for herself and it was hittin' so he came back to offer her a deal and you know what she did? She signed him to Wondaland. Gangster? Damn right. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwnefUaKCbc
(6) OFF TOPIC....the term "Bruh Cuz" or "Blood Cuz" is a real hood term. It's the description of a brother who you grew up with who everyone says is your cousin, but don't tell your uncle. They may be your cousin, but they're probably just the result of a bunch of fuckery and the family trying to help children make sense of it. This shit is not unique to black people. It's just that black people don't lie to their children. They make up new words to explain fucked up shit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1e-gZMwptVw
(7) India Arie is another story. She, like many regular artists, just wants to make art. She got popular, found her fan base. They continue to support her. Rock on. I think she started to realize the "industry" wasn't her thing when they dissed her at the Grammys in favor of her light skinned counterpart who's album was entirely in A minor...and for anybody who understand music, they understand that an entire album in A minor is boring as hell. Furthermore, India's music was also much more empowering lyrically. The last straw was when they had to put Akon on her record to "legitimize" her for pop audiences. You ain't heard from India lately in media, but she puts an album out about every 2 years and her fans know where to find her. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_5jIt0f5Z4
(8) Jill Scott: fantastic first album. However, you will continue to hear crap from her until she ends her contract and goes independent. Yes. That second album was crap. Let's reminisce on the first one, shall we? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSYMKUtNuw8
(8b): This one went into some more discussion (as should be expected), so minus the identities, the following is what happened in the discussion:
- I'mma disagree, but I got different ears and be listening more like a poet than a musician on any given day. But yeah. That first album is was entirely unduplicatable (cause my poetic license gives me leeway to manufacture new words when old ones don't fit).
- ...but I will admit, she do be recycling music not unlike Musiq. Maybe it be a Philly thang. Ha ha.
- Then some more stuff happened and some more people said some stuff and I told some stories...but you had to be there.
(9) Erykah Badu...you knew it was coming. I don't know Erykah's story. I don't think anybody knows it but her. And frankly, nobody wants to know. But her "image" is so unique that nobody can even think that they're gonna go into a meeting and do anything other than exactly what she wants them to do. And when you're a REAL artist...that is, you do YOU as opposed to trying to be the next whoever...you don't even have to have the conversation the first time. Dig me? Will Erykah ever be a millionaire? Maybe. Maybe not. But she'll be working for a looooong time. Guaranteed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hVp47f5YZg
(10) The point of all this shit...handle your-business, wash your-ass, and be your-self. Then, can't nobody touch you. Be courageous. Be different. It's a good thing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=bI3qRovp1A8
This piece of satire is intended for entertainment purposes only...or educational purposes...whatever's clever.